A story about real for-serious gut trouble and discovery:
A short while ago, for a few months I had been suffering with unpleasant and quite intense intestinal issues. At first I thought I had some terrible ailment which might not be curable. Hoping for the best that maybe it was something I was eating I began the internet discovery game. I searched and read and read and searched. What I found was that food sensitivities affect oodles of people and ruffles the entire body. The short list of things I was experiencing: bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation and achy joints, fatigue, and headaches. Yep, that matched up to my findings on the interwebs.
But… discovering where the problem foods/drinks are is quite an adventure. First I eliminated the obvious culprits - beans, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, beer, and bread. Still having trouble. Then I reviewed the FODMAP diet and followed that for a bit, with little success, though I think I was getting small amounts of various things because, well, I was not feeling well and not being diligent enough. What was I missing? Then I jumped on an organized 5 day whole foods detox, eliminating gluten, sugar, dairy, and processed foods. That did it! After the 4th day my gut and my joints felt much better and I was stoked! Dropped a few pounds too. Every day felt a little better and more normal. I now have the roadmap to feeling good: stay away from gluten, sugar, and processed foods - oh and potatoes seem to bother me a bit.
Then… well… I was traveling and had not packed enough to get me all the way home, so a restaurant meal with some mystery sauce broke me again. Might have been MSG. Recovery from that was another few days. A couple of weeks went by and I felt better and better, getting back to my regular activity levels and enjoying a lot more of my life.
A week or so later I visited my mom in northern Michigan for a string of days, with lots of activities and tasks. My brother Brian and my sil Heidi dropped in as well. One afternoon Heidi and I baked a beautiful apple pie with the flakiest crust you can imagine. We shared the pie with the neighbor and the rest remained in the house. Wouldn’t you know, after a couple of glasses of mead I thought to myself - Self, one little sliver of that pie probably won’t cause too much trouble. And that crust looks amazing. So I did. I ate a tiny sliver of apple pie with a delightful wheat crust. Then, you guessed it, all the bad belly feelings and joint pain came back with vengeance. Seriously terrible night and a few days of recovery. I wish I had eaten the entire pie for as bad as I felt.
If you know me, or have shared a meal with me you know that I don’t eat animals nor animal products. Not judging, simply sharing a bit of my story. Now, getting back to the original question asked by Barb, a dear friend of mine, “What is there left for you to eat?”
Just for fun, I want to list the items I have eaten today.
Spring mixed greens
So, you can see there are plenty of food options for a whole food, plant based, gluten free human.
Wishing you a happy belly.